We spent a day last week unpacking the challenges, opportunities, and future trends of online gaming, specifically in relation to children, in a closed convening of influencers across the online gaming industry which was organised and hosted by UNICEF.
Given the significance of children in the online gaming industry, UNICEF wish to explore possible collaborative efforts to ensure that children’s rights are thoughtfully considered as the world of online gaming and eSports continues to expand.
Online gaming is coming under increasing public scrutiny; concerns about addiction, bullying, grooming, and privacy are all attracting increasing public attention. Last year the World Health Organisation even listed gaming addiction as mental health condition for the first time and last month the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee held a public session to explore the concept of gaming disorder or addiction, the psychological effects of loot boxes and their links to gambling behaviours as part of its new inquiry into immersive and addictive technologies.
Whatever your position on these concerns, they are pertinent and worthy of serious legal and ethical consideration.
It was, therefore, an honour to have been invited by UNICEF to provide input on some of the key legal considerations which play a significant part in creating an online gaming environment for children which is positive, inclusive, engaging and safe.